Measuring second language vocabulary

Project leader

Funding source

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2009
End date: 31/12/2011
Funding: 3745000 SEK


An increasing number of students in Swedish schools today have other first languages than Swedish and may therefore have difficulties following instruction in Swedish. Textbooks and other written sources play an important role for learning at school and knowledge of the vocabulary encountered in schoolbook texts is therefore crucial.

Many researchers even claim that mastering school related vocabulary appropriate to the subject matters in school, is the single most important factor for school success. As for vocabulary development, considerable differences have been observed between children from different socio-economic and language backgrounds. Lexical limitations may thus be an impediment for learning also for students with Swedish as a mother-tongue.

The aim of this project is to develop web-based tests for the assessment of Swedish school related academic vocabulary in terms of receptive as well as productive language skills with reference to quantitative and qualitative aspects of lexical knowledge. Such tests are of great relevance for research on lexical development in first and second languages and also have important educational applications in the planning and provision of a more needs-based, effective and systematic language training.

The lack of relevant diagnostic tools for school-related language assessment is a well documented problem in Swedish schools and the assessment of second language proficiency is not always carried out in a reliable way. The development of vocabulary tests for a more valid and reliable assessment of school related vocabulary knowledge in Swedish schools is therefore of great urgency.

External Partners

Last updated on 2017-29-03 at 17:13